Barak Article

In defense of polyamory?
Thursday Apr 10, 2008 9:52 am

On another group list in Columbus, there is a discussion about people who are poly - fearing attack/persecution from others and/or governmental entities - so this was my response -

When we fear being attacked, akin to the recent polygamous sect in Utah, for some reason we are aligning ourselves with groups of polygamists. Polygamists, for the most part, are a banned portion of the Mormon faith. Polygamy has been outlawed for quite some time - as there were many pieces that were quite harmful to the women and families involved. Furthermore, the Polygamous Sect was raided based on reports of illegal activity - specifically the rape and sexual abuse of a 16 year old. They were living in a closed religious compound, and some of the participants resisted the search - even after a legal warrant had been issued.

Does this sound like any of us? I think not. Firstly, in many polyamorous relationships that I have either been a part of, or been privy to, we don't immediately set out to form a compound (little humor here). We build the relationships as consensually aware adults - as with other legal relationships. We bring others into the relationships with everyone aware, and consenting to continuing the growth of the participants. Furthermore, we don't tend to hole up and seclude ourselves. Receiving and giving love from more than one relationship creates a desire to give and receive more. This fosters a desire for more community, fellowship and communication. Hence one of our primary periodicals is even named - Loving More.

As to being concerned about defending our relationship dynamics, personally I am much more concerned with having to pay taxes, the price of gas, the current political climate, etcetera, than defending my relationships. I refer to the old saying, "Explanations, why bother? - Friends don't need them, and enemies never can get enough.". Mainly the people who I will expend energy sharing with, are those who I am attracted to. Eventually, if there is a mutual interest, they will or won't understand, or have the desire, and then possibly participate.

I am a firm believer that Polyamory is genetic or inherent in the person. Throughout my life, I have not been capable of being with one person for very long. About 12 years ago, I realized who and what I was - and was able to integrate my desire for a larger "family" into my psyche. Trying to defend that is like trying to defend my height, or my gender - polyamory is part of my makeup.

As MK said, we strive for acceptance, but we are forgetting the key. We have to learn to accept ourselves and allow ourselves to be who we are - before we can attempt to reach outside for societal approval or acceptance. I am reminded of people in my life who try to prove who and what they are, by attempting to convince me, as a way of validating their ideology. There is no need for this within the scope of our relationship dynamics - we love openly and honestly. Where is the malevolence in that?

So, in my honest opinion, just because polyamory and polygamy have the same first few letters doesn't mean they can be grouped together. They are two separate and distinctly different terms. As I spoke about, Polyamory is an inherent, open way of being, whereas Polygamy is more of a philosophy and religious ideology put into practice. As a group we may want to reshape our thinking of how we consider ourselves and of what we have to defend, more than developing a blanket defense of something that does not require one.


(return to main library page)